Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart:
Mark 6:30-44 (NIV)
Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand
30 The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. 31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” 32 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. 33 But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. 34 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things. 35 By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late. 36 Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” 37 But he answered, “You give them something to eat.” They said to him, “That would take more than half a year’s wages! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?” 38 “How many loaves do you have?” he asked. “Go and see.” When they found out, they said, “Five—and two fish.” 39 Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. 41 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. 42 They all ate and were satisfied, 43 and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. 44 The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.
How has Jesus fed you when you were spiritually hungry?
Lord, I wish I could say that I am always spiritually full, but I am not. I get caught up in the busyness of life, keeping up with work, caring for family, household responsibilities, church, friends, and then there is the news and digital devices… I am exhausted and there is no time left. This past year I have found myself drained and in a spiritual starvation mode. There seemed to be an open void distancing me from You. I was depressed and anxious about what was going on. I was finding it hard to give and do because my spiritual energy was low. I couldn’t give what I didn’t have. You told Your exhausted disciples to “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place” That was a good word for me too. Nearly always I start by reading the Bible and listen to You speak. It is harder to hear You when I am deprived, so I cried out to You and sat in silence. I waited with an open heart for You to stir up a hunger that would lead me back to the satisfaction of the soul. And out of my obedience, You were faithful. Thank You that You are there when I get up early and spend the quiet before the day with you. You have directed me to videos and books of faithful people who are on fire for You and desperately in love with You. I listen to videos throughout the day. and when I run out, I listen to worship and praise music to soak into my soul. The more I take in, the more I crave Your Spirit and the clearer Your voice is to me. I feel stronger in my convictions and my trust in You has again flourished. Worship on Sunday is also a critical part of building and maintaining my spiritual health. Not just to worship and be fed the meat of Your Word, but also to serve. Prayer and action go hand in hand. A healthy spirit will generate outward actions of love. That activity comes out of my relationship with You. I take great comfort that You can do a lot with the little I have to offer. What I have, I offer to You and I trust that You can multiply it and meet the needs of others. Thank You for driving me back into Your Word. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Thank You for Your heavenly food that nourishes my soul. Let the abundance overflow to feed others. Amen